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May 18, 2010 11:22 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Home construction up, building permits fall

Construction of new homes rose more than expected in April, but new building permits fell sharply, signaling that the building industry's rebound could be short-lived.

The Commerce Department says construction of new homes and apartments rose 5.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 672,000. The results were the highest since October 2008 and were driven by a 10 percent increase in the single-family market.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected construction to rise more modestly to a rate of 650,000.

Building permits, a gauge of future activity, sank 11.5 percent to an annual rate of 606,000, the lowest since October 2009. Analysts were expecting a slight dip to a rate of 680,000.

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